CIVIC chiefs have agreed it is ‘time to change’ after signing up to a mental wellbeing initiative.

Test Valley Borough Council has demonstrated its commitment to tackling mental health stigma in the workplace by signing up to the Time to Change Employer Pledge.

TVBC chief executive Roger Tetstall and leader of the council councillor Phil North signed the pledge, which is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

The campaign was launched in 2007 and is aimed at changing the attitudes towards mental health. More than 100,000 organisations having signed up to date.

As part of the pledge, a wellbeing group of staff from the authority has been set up, and that group has developed an action plan outlining what TVBC will do to further promote mental wellbeing.

Chief executive of TVBC, Roger Tetstall said: “Tackling the stigma that surrounds mental health is vitally important.

“It is imperative that the council is an enjoyable place to work, because that makes for a high performing organisation which is better able to serve our residents.

“A lot has been done over recent years to try to break down various walls and staff have worked incredibly hard to develop a variety of ideas and initiatives.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the progress from the wellbeing group and those involved deserve a huge amount of credit.”

Cllr North added: “Mental health in the workplace and in everyday life is so crucial and therefore I’m delighted that the council has signed up to this fantastic initiative.

“I’m sure this is just the beginning as we take this next step to support staff and showcase how important an issue this is.”

The news follows a talk given by David Beeney at the council’s offices at Beech Hurst on June 6, in which he spoke of his mental health awareness campaign, Breaking the Silence, which is aimed at de-stigmatising mental health at work.